When I picked up my CSA box on Thursday I knew almost instantly what was in my near future: homemade Chinese food.
I still had a red cabbage remaining from the last box and received green cabbage, green garlic, green onion, and carrots among other vegetables this week. To me, that equaled some sort of tasty Chinese dish.
I contemplated fried rice but wanted to cook Friday night and didn’t have time to make rice—which needs to refrigerate for an evening before frying—on Thursday. Instead, I hopped on Epicurious.com to look up noodle dishes. I didn’t find quite what I was looking for so adapted a lo mein with beef recipe into the following:
Miyoko’s Adapted Chow Mein with Beef
Yield: 4-6 servings
Time to make: Approximately 45 minutes-1 hour
½ lb Chinese chow mein noodles
¾ lb flank steak
1 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ red cabbage, shredded
½ green cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon green garlic
1 teaspoon green onion
½ to 1 cup carrots, shredded
½ teaspoon sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons soy sauce
½ cup chicken broth
Snap peas to garnish
1.) Cook—but do not overcook—noodles according to directions (or in boiling water for 3½ to 5 minutes until tender). Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
2.) Cut meat into thin slices. Mix fish sauce, sesame oil, and pepper in a bowl. Add meat and stir to coat.
3.) In a wok or skillet, heat vegetable oil and cook beef, stirring frequently until browned. Remove beef from wok or skillet and set aside. Pour oil and juices into a glass dish and set aside.
4.) Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and juice from the pan in the wok or skillet over high heat. Add green garlic and green onion and cook, stirring, over high heat about 1 minute. Add the cabbage, carrots, sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring, about 1 minute, Remove vegetables from wok or skillet and set aside.
5.) Add 3 tablespoons of reserved oil and juice to the wok or skillet. Turn the heat to high and when hot, add the noodles. Cook, stirring, about 20 seconds. Add the vegetables, soy sauce, and chicken broth. Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes, then add beef. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 more minutes, or until beef is warm.
6.) Serve hot. Garnish with snap peas.
The original recipe called for lo mein noodles, but we couldn’t find any in the grocery store so this became a chow mein dish instead. We substituted the oyster sauce with fish sauce and added green garlic, green onion, red cabbage, green cabbage, and carrots instead of mushrooms and bamboo shoots since those are what I had on hand. We made the rest mostly according to the original recipe but adjusted the length and doneness to which that we cooked the ingredients (reflected in the recipe above).
Rob was on meat and I chopped the veggies and together, dinner was ready in a little less than an hour. Unfortunately, this was one of Rob’s least-favorite meals we’ve made together. The original recipe called for over ½ cup oil—which was way too much. Garnishing the dish with fresh snap peas helped balance out the oil and, when I had it again for leftovers, I added fresh cabbage to the chow mein, which also helped. (For the above version of the recipe, I significantly cut the amount of oil used.)
But it was my first time cooking Chinese food at home, and I think it turned out pretty well.